Favourite Japanese Live Action Movies

by donaldsgordon | created - 5 months ago | updated - 5 months ago | Public
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1. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 292,373 | Gross: $0.27M

2. The Family Game (1983)

107 min | Comedy, Drama

A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshimitsu Morita | Stars: Yûsaku Matsuda, Jûzô Itami, Saori Yuki, Ichirôta Miyakawa

Votes: 719

3. Messengers (1999)

118 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Naomi Shimizu is a young career woman working for Enrico Dandolo, an Italian fashion house. That is until one day the company declares bankruptcy. Accustomed to living in luxury she tries ... See full summary »

Director: Yasuo Baba | Stars: Naoko Iijima, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Hiroyuki Yabe, Kotomi Kyôno

Votes: 220

4. Negotiator: Mashita Masayoshi (2005)

127 min | Action

Japan's #1 negotiator Mashita Masayoshi is called into action again as a mysterious train terrorizes Tokyo's underground railway network. But this time his opponent is gunning for him personally.

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro | Stars: Yûsuke Santamaria, Susumu Terajima, Yusuke Hirayama, Masanori Ishii

Votes: 166

5. Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 15,383

6. Heartbeat Memorial (1997)

Looking for something to do during the summer, Akihiko Suzuki teams up with four girls, Namie, Natsumi, Mishio, and Komugi, and a guy named Kosuke, to start a little cafe down by the beach.... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Sugawara | Stars: Kanako Enomoto, Kazue Fukiishi, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Emiri Nakayama

Votes: 18

7. Tampopo (1985)

Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy

A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.

Director: Jûzô Itami | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kôji Yakusho

Votes: 13,893 | Gross: $0.22M

8. Love's Whirlpool (2014)

123 min | Romance

From midnight to 5 AM, people gather at a high-end apartment in Roppongi to engage in promiscuous sexual activity. Story depicts the process of the men and women who meet for the first time there to have loveless sex.

Director: Daisuke Miura | Stars: Sôsuke Ikematsu, Mugi Kadowaki, Ken'ichi Takitô, Eriko Nakamura

Votes: 270

9. High and Low (1963)

Not Rated | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyôko Kagawa

Votes: 24,671

10. Rashomon (1950)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

98 Metascore

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 139,648 | Gross: $0.10M

11. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 101,311

12. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 102,276 | Gross: $3.52M

13. The Hidden Fortress (1958)

Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama

Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara

Votes: 30,688

14. Sanjuro (1962)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûnosuke Itô

Votes: 28,906

15. Bang! (1991)

111 min | Comedy

A serious-minded policeman plays the role of robber in a police training operation against bank robberies. He's so good his fellow policemen can't catch him. TV networks begin to broadcast ... See full summary »

Director: Sadaaki Haginiwa | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Renji Ishibashi, Nagare Hagiwara, Daijirô Harada

Votes: 28

16. Our Little Sister (2015)

PG | 127 min | Drama, Family

75 Metascore

A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother's home and the arrival of their thirteen-year-old half sister.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose

Votes: 10,280 | Gross: $0.46M

17. Wood Job! (2014)

116 min | Adventure, Comedy

After failing to get into university, a soft city boy randomly picks a job in forestry.

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi | Stars: Masami Nagasawa, Shôta Sometani, Hideaki Itô, Yûki Furukawa

Votes: 2,013

18. Chihayafuru Part 3 (2018)

Drama

The third installment of the Chihayafuru trilogy.

Director: Norihiro Koizumi | Stars: Suzu Hirose, Shûhei Nomura, Mackenyu, Mone Kamishiraishi

Votes: 286

19. Dr. Akagi (1998)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, History

At the end of WWII, Japanese doctor Akagi searches for the cure for hepatitis in the prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Akira Emoto, Kumiko Asô, Jacques Gamblin, Tomorô Taguchi

Votes: 1,391 | Gross: $0.07M

20. Kamikaze Girls (2004)

102 min | Comedy

56 Metascore

Momoko, a strange and seemingly emotionless girl obsessed with 18th century France, befriends a Yanki biker and the two experience the ups and downs of their unusual lives in a rural Japanese town.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Sadao Abe

Votes: 6,557

21. Samurai Fiction (1998)

111 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A noble young samurai searches for a thief who has stolen a precious treasure and killed one of his clansmen and meets an older samurai who tries to deter him from the violence of revenge.

Director: Hiroyuki Nakano | Stars: Morio Kazama, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Tomoyasu Hotei, Tamaki Ogawa

Votes: 2,490

22. Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (1992)

105 min | Comedy, Sport

Yet another tradition in the tradition of "ragtag misfits" in Japanese comedy...Sumo Do, Sumo Don't tells the story of a university sumo club in Japan. In today's Japan, the younger ... See full summary »

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Misa Shimizu, Naoto Takenaka, Akira Emoto

Votes: 646

23. I Are You, You Am Me (1982)

113 min | Comedy

9th-graders Kazuo (boy) and Kazumi (girl) take a tumble at a temple in a small seacoast town in Japan. Through supernatural intervention, their minds and bodies are switched, and the result... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Satomi Kobayashi, Toshinori Omi, Makoto Satô, Sayuri Ishibashi

Votes: 258

24. Pantsu no ana (1984)

113 min | Comedy

A boy transfers into a new high school in the big city. He gets bullied, but meets a pretty girl. He tries to win her heart, but rivals abound.

Director: Norifumi Suzuki | Stars: Momoko Kikuchi, Yôichi Yamamoto, Yumi Yano

Votes: 7

25. April Story (1998)

67 min | Drama, Romance

In spring, a young girl leaves the island of Hokkaido to attend university in Tokyo.

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Takako Matsu, Seiichi Tanabe, Kaori Fujii, Rumi

Votes: 2,515

26. Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? (1995)

45 min | Drama, Family

On the day when a fireworks display is planned, Norimichi, Yusuke, and their friends at school in a Japanese seaside town cannot agree whether or not fireworks are "flat" or "round" when ... See full summary »

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Yuta Yamazaki, Megumi Okina, Takayuki Sorita, Randy Havens

Votes: 490

28. Chihayafuru Part II (2016)

102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The second part of the 'Chihayafuru' movies.

Director: Norihiro Koizumi | Stars: Suzu Hirose, Shûhei Nomura, Mackenyu, Mone Kamishiraishi

Votes: 546

29. Space Travelers (2000)

125 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

What happens when ambitious robbery - to clear out a futuristic bank outside Tokyo in 5 minutes - gone wrong.

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro | Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Eri Fukatsu, Masanobu Andô, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi

Votes: 470

30. Jam Films (2002)

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

"The Messenger" is a mysterious woman who appears to a mobster hiding underground to tell him about his ultimate fate. A bag with a "Kendama" ball and string toy gets mixed up with a bag of... See full summary »

Directors: Daizaburo Hanada, Jôji Iida, Shunji Iwai, Ryûhei Kitamura, Rokuro Mochizuki, Tetsuo Shinohara, Yukihiko Tsutsumi, Isao Yukisada | Stars: Morio Agata, Natsuko Akiyama, Samuel Pop Aning, Reila Aphrodite

Votes: 498

31. Fancy Dance (1989)

101 min | Comedy

Yohei, a punk rocker, has to become a Buddhist monk in order to inherit a mountain temple. Yohei though initially rebelling against the tough monastic discipline learns to adjust. Then his ... See full summary »

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Honami Suzuki, Ken Ohsawa, Hikomaro

Votes: 185

32. Bayside Shakedown (1998)

119 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Aoshima, a police detective working in the Bayside Precinct, is continually frustrated by the hierarchy and red tape that plague the system. His friend Muroi is climbing the ladder of the ... See full summary »

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro | Stars: Yûji Oda, Toshirô Yanagiba, Eri Fukatsu, Miki Mizuno

Votes: 678

33. Gantz (2010)

Not Rated | 130 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

After trying to rescue a man on the subway tracks, two teens wake up in a room dominated by a mysterious black sphere that sends them to hunt down and kill aliens hiding on Earth.

Director: Shinsuke Sato | Stars: Kazunari Ninomiya, Kanata Hongô, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Natsuna

Votes: 6,723

34. Sundome 2 (2008)

95 min | Drama, Romance

A teenage girl transfers to a new high school. She and a boy in the class join the same school club and during one of the activities she confides in him that she was previously a male. ... See full summary »

Director: Daigo Udagawa | Stars: Takatsugu Iwama, Atsushi Ninomiya, Akane Suzuki, Kana Tsugihara

Votes: 28

35. Oppai Volleyball (2009)

102 min | Comedy, Sport

For the chance of seeing their teacher's "oppai". They took the challenge to win the volleyball tournament.

Director: Eiichirô Hasumi | Stars: Haruka Ayase, Munetaka Aoki, Tôru Nakamura, Seiji Fukushi

Votes: 531

36. Bayside Shakedown 2 (2003)

138 min | Crime, Action, Comedy

A special investigative team takes on a strange murder case. As they trace the killer, another murder happens and a witness shows up, making things even more confusing.

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro | Stars: Yûji Oda, Toshirô Yanagiba, Eri Fukatsu, Miki Mizuno

Votes: 450

37. Sukimasuki (2015)

Comedy, Romance

University student Heisaku has a guilty pleasure. He spies on his cute neighbor Fumio from the outside any chance he gets. Fumio comes to know that Heisaku likes her and is a peeping tom, ... See full summary »

Director: Kôta Yoshida | Stars: Keita Machida, Kokone Sasaki, Ep Cho, Shunpei Kawagoishi

Votes: 27

38. Whiteout (2000)

129 min | Action, Thriller

A group of terrorists has taken hold of the largest dam in Japan. They also capture the workers as hostages, and demanded JPY$5 billion from the government with a 24 hour deadline in ... See full summary »

Director: Setsurô Wakamatsu | Stars: Yûji Oda, Nanako Matsushima, Kôichi Satô, Ken Ishiguro

Votes: 395

39. The Bayside Shakedown the Final (2012)

126 min | Action, Crime

Set 2 years after prior film "Bayside Shakedown 3: Set the Guys Loose," a major case occurs that has the potential to take down the entire police organization. For the next 3 days Shunsaku ... See full summary »

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro | Stars: Shun Oguri, Ren Osugi, Eri Fukatsu, Yuki Uchida

Votes: 168

40. Bayside Shakedown 3: Set the Guys Loose (2010)

141 min | Drama

It's business as usual for detective Aoshima as he tries to solve three peculiar crime cases at the same time in this third feature length episode of popular Japanese drama.

Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro | Stars: Yûji Oda, Eri Fukatsu, Yûsuke Santamaria, Atsushi Itô

Votes: 234

41. What's Going on with My Sister? (2014)

Not Rated | 107 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Mitsuki and Yuya become stepsister and stepbrother because of their parents' marriage. Mitsuki can't get along with her new family and Yuya doesn't know how to approach his new stepsister. ... See full summary »

Directors: Yûki Aoyama, Iggy Coen | Stars: Tenka Hashimoto, Yukichi Kobayashi, Mayu Mitsui, Kazue Akita

Votes: 289

42. Sundome (2007)

81 min | Drama

Hideo Aiba is a virgin at high school. He has never had a girlfriend, is awe of women and mostly involved in his studies, school club and activities and his male friends. Kurumi Sahana has ... See full summary »

Director: Daigo Udagawa | Stars: Kazuki Hiro'oka, Mayuko Irie, Takatsugu Iwama, Takuma Matsuno

Votes: 62

43. Onna no ana (2014)

Comedy, Romance

Sachiko Suzuki (Naoho Ichihashi) is a female high school student. She claims that she is an alien and her mission on Earth is to conceive a child with a human man. Sachicko seduces her class teacher Mr. Fukuda (Yukichi Kobayashi)..

Director: Kôta Yoshida | Stars: Kate Aoki, Noriyuki Fuse, Naoho Ichihashi, Yumi Ishikawa

Votes: 73



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